Temporary Online Notarizations via Executive Order

Temporary Online Notarizations via Executive Order

Online notarizations in the state of Tennessee are governed generally by the “Online Notary Public Act”, TCA 8-16-301 et. seq. This Act requires that notaries wishing to perform online notarizations must first register with the Secretary of State and meet certain requirements.

On April 9, 2020, in response to social distancing requirements brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Bill Lee issued Executive Order number 26. This order allows all notaries commissioned in the State of Tennessee to remotely notarize documents using a more relaxed standard and without the need to register as a remote online notary with the Secretary of State. This Executive Order detailing the requirements to perform those notarizations can be found here: https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee26.pdf.

The effect of that order was extended through June 30, 2020 by Executive Order number 37, a copy of which is found here: https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee37.pdf.

On June 29th, the Governor extended the order again to August 29, 2020 by Executive Order number 52, a copy of which can be found here: https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/pub/execorders/exec-orders-lee52.pdf.

Remote notarizations performed during this time pursuant to the Governor’s orders should be considered valid. These executive orders are temporary but may be extended beyond the current deadline. Once those deadlines have expired, however, only notaries who have registered as Remote Online Notaries with the Tennessee Secretary of State will be able to validly perform remote notarizations.